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What To Do About Detroit’s Crumbling Train Station? ‘No Magic Wand Here,’ Says Moroun

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(Credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ Newsradio 950)

(Credit: Pat Sweeting/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – It was 100 years ago today that the first train pulled out of Michigan Central Station — the once grand train depot that is now an outstanding symbol of Detroit’s decay.

But in a statement to WWJ Newsradio 950, property owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun’s son Matthew Moroun said they’ll spend millions of dollars to make improvements to the blighted building.

There are no plans, however, to renovate the crumbling 13-story structure for future use.

“Our plan is to clean, protect, preserve, and secure,” Matthew Moroun said in a statement.

Moroun told WWJ’s Charlie Langton they’ve already spent $4 million in the last 18 months, and they plan to spend $15 million to $25 million total to get the building shell to a “baseline.”

Work is planned on the service elevator, windows and roof; with additional dollars going to further clean up and security measures.

“There are no plans for a complete redevelopment. This would be a massive expenditure that would require a the development to generate significant income to pay for it,” said Matthew Moroun.

“Lots and lots of ideas from just about everybody; but if the idea doesn’t generate enough income — it simply doesn’t work,” he said. “No magic wand here.”

The depot was built in 1913 and fell into disrepair after rail service ended in 1988. It stands mostly hollowed-out just outside of downtown.  Moroun, who also owns the nearby Ambassador Bridge, bought the building in 1990s.

MORE: Vacant Detroit Train Depot Gets Christmas Makeover

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